There are many criteria required by employers to hire an employee. We highlight: professional experience, foreign languages, being communicative, easy to work in a team and so many other things that fit a certain function. In fact, it is necessary to hire well and trust the right person, in addition, currently, the competition has grown extraordinarily, and this has caused many to even give up trying.
Reflecting a little on this reality, I put it in parallel to the Gospel: Jesus had totally different criteria (from those we contemplated above) for the choice of His friends, disciples and apostles. One of the moments when Jesus breaks, in a more direct way, logic, we find in the Gospel of St. Matthew 5,27: “ After that, Jesus went out and saw a publican, named Levi, sitting at the tax office. I said to him: Follow me. Leaving everything, he got up and followed him ”.
In verse 31, when asked to walk, eat and drink with sinners, He makes clear what His criteria are: “ It is not the healthy people who need a doctor, but the sick. It is not the righteous that I have come to call conversion, but sinners ”.
Illustrative photo: Wesley Almeida / cancaonova.com
Jesus does not follow human criteria when it comes to welcoming others, and leads us to reflect on what criteria we have had with those around us
I do not want to fight the criteria used in employment, but to invite you to confront the Gospel with your life. How have you and I connected with the people of our daily lives? What criteria do I use in my “personal HR”?
The men called “publicans”, who appear in the New Testament , are especially those collectors subordinate to the contractors and, for this reason, were generally native to the region itself. Like the Roman publicans, these sub-collectors also had a reputation for extortion and being greedy and selfish. In addition, since antiquity, people have never liked to pay taxes, which has always culminated in a certain prejudice for who was responsible for the task of collecting.
Therefore, the New Testament publican class was extremely hated by the Jews, because in addition to this bad reputation, it was also considered a traitor to its own people when they voluntarily served their oppressors, in this case, serving the Romans. Today, in your life, who are the tax collectors? Who are the people who are sitting at the tax office every day? In the Word , we see that Jesus saw Levi and then called him. This is the great challenge for today: seeing the other.
Jesus brought with him, wherever he went, a look beyond appearances; a look that resurrects and gives hope back to those who no longer believe that something can change.
We need to have a different attitude today. This posture does not mean being indifferent to the sins committed by people like Levi or in the face of the circumstances of today’s society, but to cultivate, in the heart, and spread through the senses: hope .
How to fight hopelessness?
First, we need to cultivate within us the hope that something can change in ourselves. No matter the difficulties we face today, we need, above all, to confront ourselves with our truth and assume “as I am” in search of who I really am called to be. With that, rooted in the certainty that Jesus comes to meet us because we are sinners, we make ourselves available to do the same for those who, in the face of life’s challenges, need a welcome and a word that will bring them back to life.
:: Is Jesus indifferent to my pain?
:: Are you prepared to leave everything?
:: Did God stop talking to you?
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After Levi’s call, Jesus was invited by him to dinner at his home. The table for the Jew means intimacy, friendship, family. Jesus became “home” from that moment on. It is in intimacy that we can truly get to know someone. Like Jesus, we can, today, have a new experience surpassing our criteria and prejudices, having the courage to invest with faith in what I consider “different”.
Let us be imitators of Christ, and leave the peripheries, calling and welcoming the “Levis” of this world. Let us be bold! Let us work at the HR of Jesus, with the criteria that He (and only He) can teach us. Love is paid for with love, as São João da Cruz used to say .